3rd Death Reported in Illinois Linked to Synthetic Marijuana

Grant Boone
April 10, 2018

There are also state laws and local ordinances that make synthetic drugs illegal, but that doesn't mean there's no chance someone in the county might get a hold of them, Stenger said.

The Illinois Department of Public Health asked local health departments to issue the warning, saying health officials "strongly urge everyone not to use" synthetic cannabis.

It noted that there have been numerous instances of severe bleeding in IL, three resulting in deaths. To date, 107 people in central IL and the Chicago area have experienced severe bleeding from using what's often called Spice, K2 or fake weed.

Since then, state police have made 13 arrests, seized more than 1,100 packets of synthetic marijuana and made one three-pound bulk seizure.

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Synthetic cannabinoids are chemicals sprayed on plant matter and smoked or sold as liquids to be used in e-cigarettes. They are not regulated and people don't know what chemicals may be in them, like rat poison.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 94 people in five states who used synthetic cannabinoids have been treated since March 10 for bleeding due to coagulopathy, a blood clotting disorder.

"It is never unusual for something to be put into the street drug or synthetic drug as 'filler, ' increasing the supply with a variety of other substances", Will County Health Department Behavioral Health Director Dr. Joe Troiani, pictured above, said in a news release. Several of the individuals have tested positive for an anticoagulant found in rat poison. Symptoms included coughing up blood, blood in urine, a severe bloody nose, bleeding gums and/or internal bleeding, according to the statement.

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